319-338-1132 or 1-866-338-1132 |
Obituary of R. Thomas Douglass
R. Thomas “Tom” Douglass died at home on September 8, 2020, with his family in attendance. Tom was born in Morristown, New Jersey, to Holmes Tomlin Douglass and Elizabeth Schellinger Douglass. He was raised in Madison, NJ, along with his brothers, Rob, John, and Allen, and graduated from Madison High School. He attended Western Maryland College for 3 years, then transferred and graduated from George Washington University. After college, he married Dottie Phillips and joined the U.S. Army, serving for 3 years, 8 months, and 9 days. Tom always said his military service was one of the best decisions of his life. It began at Fort Dix, New Jersey, then took him to the Pentagon, and finally to London, England for 2 years. Because of his service and the GI Bill, he was able to pursue graduate degrees, earning the equivalent of a Master of Arts in Spanish at Kings College, in London, and a Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. As a Fulbright scholar, he lived in Madrid, Spain for a year doing research for his doctoral dissertation. Tom's teaching career included Moorestown High School, in Moorestown, New Jersey, Millersville State College, in Millersville, Pennsylvania, Simpson College, in Indianola, Iowa, and the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa. For many years, Tom was active in the Democratic party and in local politics. He was proud to have been part of a successful lawsuit that was decided by the Iowa Supreme Court, People Against the Ramp. Because of this lawsuit, the Burlington Street parking ramp in Iowa City is user-fee based instead of having been funded by city tax payers. Tom was an avid racquetball player and considered the University of Iowa Fieldhouse his second home. When he could no longer play racquetball, he continued to visit the Fieldhouse regularly to swim and lift weights. Among Tom's pleasures were crossword puzzles, traveling, bursting into song, genealogy, old movies, slow-pitch softball, NPR, baseball, Hawkeye wrestling, and classical music. Tom is survived by his wife, Lisa Green-Douglass, and their children Alex (Brogan Messer), Forrest (Luan Nguyen), Monica Siegel (Matthew), Gabriel, Eric (Maya Sims); his sons Matt (Jessie Dolch), of Washington, D.C., David (Maren), of St. Cloud, Florida, his daughter Suzanne Giraudeau (JoJo), of Gainesville, Florida, and one grandson, Ben Douglass (Lisa), of Seattle, Washington. A private family celebration of life will be held (Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.) at Gay & Ciha Funeral Home, Iowa City, IA. Tom’s service will be livestreamed on Thursday, to view this please search "Remembering Tom Douglass" on Facebook and request to join the group. Memorial donations may be made in Tom's name to Iowa City Hospice, the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU, or FAIR.org.